Beginning his 20-year career in public health at PSI in 1996, Michael Holscher was appointed to establish PSI’s first national program in Eastern Europe. He opened PSI operations in Sub-Saharan Africa, led a six-county regional HIV/ AIDS prevention program in Southeast Asia and served as Regional Executive Director of PSI’s network member in Central America, the Pan-American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) until 2007. Michael recently returned as PSI’s Chief Strategy and Resources Officer.
Q: So where have you been?
A: I spent nine rewarding years at Marie Stopes International (MSI) in London, first as senior vice president for Strategy and External Affairs and later as Deputy CEO (and for a time acting CEO). I saw a unique opportunity to help bring about something truly transformative there – we lifted the number of women using contraception provided by MSI programs from fewer than four million back in 2007 to more than 20 million in 2015.
Q: What brought you back to PSI?
A: This organization has always been a place where I have been able to learn, and grow and work with smart and committed people who wake up every morning to make the biggest possible difference to the health and well-being of the millions of women and men we serve. And I find that is no different today.
And I was attracted to the opportunity to help decide where PSI goes next. We have grown tremendously over the past decade and diversified – from contraception and HIV/AIDS prevention to malaria and child survival, sanitation, cervical cancer screening, treatment and gender-based violence. Like all organizations, PSI will have important choices to make in responding to the rapid changes in the world around us and to the markets we serve.
Q: How do you see your role as Chief Strategy and Resources Officer?
A: I have overall responsibility for guiding and executing PSI’s strategy, including overall leadership for PSI’s technical teams and fundraising teams. I like that PSI is putting greater emphasis on linking technical leadership and innovation with resource mobilization for greater program quality and impact. It takes special technical people to fully involve themselves in resource mobilization, and its takes special fundraising people to be committed to ensuring the funds they raise will result in greater program impact, quality and innovation.
Photo Credit: Sophia Greenbaum